Yesterday was a rough day. Between my typical work day and my lengthy work commitments in the evening, I spent all of about an hour with my husband. Kyle is incredibly supportive of my job and understands that working with college students and living in a residence hall with them means that I generally keep crazy hours. All the understanding in the world on his part and on the passion for higher education on my part doesn’t make it easy, though.
I woke up feeling a bit blue. Kyle goes to work today at 10 and gets back at 7. Once again, not much time together. I absolutely did not want to get up this morning and hit snooze for about an hour…sorry Kyle!
I get K-LOVE’s encouraging word e-mailed to me every morning and today I click and the link and up pops:
"Trust in the love with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding." - Proverbs 3:5
I love it when that happens!
Proverbs 3:5 has been my absolute favorite verse for quite a while. It speaks to my biggest challenge- trusting and relying on myself instead of putting all my trust in Jesus. I am analytical, scientific, critical, skeptical. According to StrengthsQuest, my top four strengths are responsibility, input, intellection, and arranger. I like order, information, data, check-lists, organizational systems, and label makers. I like (expect) my life to fit into my ideas of what makes sense, what is logical and obvious. God, however, doesn't really fit. That is where faith comes in. StrengthsQuest provides you with your top five strengths. My fifth strength? Belief. I think that's just perfect!
Proverbs 3:5 has been a staple in my life, a motto, a mantra I repeat to my self throughout my day. I have it taped to my computer screen, I have it written in my journal, highlighted in my bible. I reflect on it during tough times (Laura, remember to trust God not yourself!) and I rejoice in it during celebrations (Laura, isn't it great that you have a God you can trust in everything...that you don't have to rely on your own understanding!).
I am a perfectionist. That is my responsible strength coming in. I always tell my staff that I hold them to high expectations, but the expectations I hold myself to are even higher. Proverbs 3:5 is a reminder to me that God doesn't want me to be perfect. That walking with him isn't about taking the right steps all the time. It's about stumbling and falling and trusting that He will forgive and help me back up again. I was raised Catholic and one time in college I was sitting with the priest for confession telling him all the things I had done wrong, the ways in which I struggled with my relationship with Jesus. I don't pray enough. I don't read the bible enough. I am not thankful enough. I am selfish. The list went on and on. He looked at me and said, "Laura, you know what's great. There is a God who is perfect in all these ways and more. You have a God...and you know what? You're not Him?" Wow! Such a powerful statement that has stuck with me for a long time.
Just when you need reminded of something, bang, you get it! I love it when that happens!
On our wedding day, I walked down to the dressing room to get ready with my bridesmaids and Proverbs 3:5 was written on the white board in the room. I just looked at it and kind of giggled. Thanks God!
"Do not depend on your own understanding..." and it's a good thing! I do the best I can with the decisions I have to make. Sometimes they work, something they fail (and other times they are epic fails).
"Trust the Lord with all your heart..." and it's a good thing! My analytical brain sometimes tries to tell me that God doesn't make sense, that belief isn't logical. Then my heart kicks in and faith takes over.
I just love it. And maybe I even have a Proverbs 3:5 tattoo. I'm just saying. Maybe.